This is not for lack of effort. Reporters here at The Washington Post and at other publications have been on the hunt for this mythical creature.
Has anyone out there bought health insurance on the Obamacare marketplace? I would like to talk to you! Email Sarah.Kliff@washpost.com — Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) Oct. 2, 2013
There are certainly lots of people trying to buy health insurance on the marketplace, that much is clear from my inbox. "I am trying to sign my wife up for an individual policy on Healthcare.gov and it's still basically impossible," one reader in Florida wrote to me Thursday morning. "I tried to create the account again and was told my username already existed for another account. I then closed the web browser and started looking around for a drink (if it weren't 8:30 a.m...)."
"I decided to do it Oct. 1 and hopefully will in the near future," someone else responded to my tweet. "Web sites were jammed on the first."
"I know you're looking for success stories, but in case it's helpful to your article, I've been trying for the past two days just to create an account, and can't do it," another reader said.
But there are people who have successfully purchased plans on the 16 state-run marketplaces, including someone I spoke with on Tuesday who estimates his plan saved him $6,000. These are the states in dark blue on this map.
Some Minnesotans also tell me they've been able to purchase coverage, and actual enrollment numbers are coming out of Rhode Island, Connecticut and especially Kentucky.
But the federal marketplace is a bit of a black box right now. There's been heavy traffic, with over 4.7 million visitors since the exchanges opened for enrollment on Tuesday. The White House says some applicants have signed up, but didn't say how many. Rumors in the insurance industry hover in the single digits; several health plans say they are unaware of anyone signing up for their plan. BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina says it has enrolled one person.
The successful shoppers remain elusive. We're told they do exist and are indeed real people. If you happen to be this very special health policy unicorn of sorts, you can e-mail me here. You would make a whole lot of health wonks quite excited.